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President's Prattle: May 2024

What a fun night it was! The much publicised Black and White Evening gave us beauty, glamour, food, fun, ocean views and…sphincter golf. As a newcomer to the sport, I’d never witnessed such a raucous crowd of oldies cheering the skill and control of participants. I’m still not sure how Wayne, the eventual winner, pulled it off but it was a seriously great performance all the same.


The other serious business of the evening was the sealing of the time capsule. Narelle (time capsule captain) and Suzie Mac (recent past President) had the joint honour of ‘locking it up’ for the next 20 years. Narelle, who’s younger than average age, can’t wait for 2044 for the re-opening. “Who else will be here?” was the question and can you believe that nearly everybody raised their hands and cheered? Imagine that – the same crowd playing sphincter golf in 2044! It was yet another great social event by the social co-ordinating committee. And more fun events are planned for 2024, so stay tuned and get involved.


The summer is (reluctantly) moving on and this changes our approach to our other interest – swimming. For Doddi’s swimmers, here come the ugg boots, beanies, hand warmers and the joy of standing in a shivering circle and chatting about how much fun swimming is. But let’s not get too carried away (pardon the pun) with winter swimming. Keep in mind that conditions may be dangerous and remember that you are the person most responsible for your safety. For newer members, if you’re not confident and Greg is otherwise busy, be cautious and organise a buddy to swim with. And don’t forget to nominate for the spotter roster – it takes on more importance during winter!


Doddi’s swimmers, if you’re stuck on ‘how much do I love swimming at Doddi’s?’ consider this - 15° vs 27° - this may entice you to join the pool squad swimmers. The inside pool is now open and available for the night sessions and optional for the day sessions. With any luck, it may even encourage some coaching interest. On the business side of things, well done to Gerda, Karen, Alex, Annie and Alan who recently represented Mandurah at the MSWA State Champs. The team finished 13th (of 29 clubs) and brought home the ‘Country Club top points award’. Very well done! And how about this – Gerda and Alex won their respective age group awards – congratulations to you both.


The 4km Albany Harbour Swim was conducted on Easter Saturday. John C (1:11:23), Karen (1:14:27), Glenda (1:21:44) and Wayne C (1:30:23) all competed in ‘near perfect conditions’ (and how lucky is that?). Great job guys – it’s a long way. The Denmark Southern Ocean swim, originally scheduled for Easter Sunday, was cancelled unfortunately. Mannas should consider Easter in Albany next year and the opportunity to swim in this challenging double event. Be reminded however, that conditions are not always perfect in a normal Albany Easter.


On swimming and holidays, I can’t not mention the recent Cocos Island experience. If you want ‘casual’, ‘laid back’ and ‘stress free’ then step back in time to Cocos. You’ll enjoy pristine marine environments, great restaurant experiences, cheap booze and AFP at your service. Oh, almost forgot the main event – swimming from Home Island to West Island. How exciting does that sound? Well, the ferry ride, stroll to the start line, photo and the first kilometre were all exciting. But excitement began to wane as old bodies progressively fatigued in 28° (plus) water. It eventually became a gruelling (almost ‘out of body’) experience. Well done to all swimmers and special thanks to Barb who repeatedly ‘appeared’ alongside the stragglers and provided reassurance just as self-doubt was taking hold. After a short rest, Cocos excitement returned for a great six days of fun times with great people. Cocos swim now ticked off - no need to repeat that one!


Recently, a Pommy tourist named Russ wandered into the Doddi’s camp and asked if he could join in. He is from Yorkshire and was visiting his daughter who lives in Halls Head. He swims regularly in his local pool but has NEVER swum in the ocean and was keen to try it. After three weeks, he’s taken to ocean swimming and can now contribute to the obligatory post-swim backslapping and analysis of stroke, conditions, dolphins and the boredom of counting laps in the pool etc. Before leaving us, he bought some very expensive cakes (so is welcome back) to say thanks for having him. He’s now headed back home but is already planning his return trip to Halls Head. He’s a popular guy, well liked, fit, coffee-drinker who now finds ocean swimming both challenging and fun. I consider this to be a great Masters Swimming story. If you get to read this Russ, you’re my ‘swimmer of the month’ and we look forward to seeing you back next year.


Take care everybody.

Ross





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